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Progressive Politics in Minnesota, the Nation, and the World

TPaw - The Transition From Populist To $1.8 Million Capitalist

Category: Tim Pawlenty
Posted: 12/30/13 00:22

by Dave Mindeman

Maybe you are asking the question (although I doubt it), whatever happened to Tim Pawlenty?????

Well,here you go....

As an ambitious politician with eyes on the White House, Tim Pawlenty cast himself as the everyman -- the working-class son of a truck driver, a practical Midwesterner, a "Sam's Club Republican."

But when those ambitions were dashed, the former Minnesota governor found a new role that takes him a long way from Sam's Club: being the voice of big banks and other financial companies in Washington -- some of the same institutions the prairie populist once criticized on the stump.

Yes, he is a lobbyist - CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable. The land of big money.

And you know what? He's pretty good at it.

That good old Sam's Club Republican has made the shift to the wine and cheese Republican crowd in the blink of an eye. It is worth wondering if this is where Tim Pawlenty was meant to end up all along.

So far, Pawlenty's restructuring of the group has earned him some praise from its members. Several industry sources who work at companies the Roundtable represents or have clients that belong to the organization spoke favorably of Pawlenty's goal of focusing the Roundtable's resources on a more limited set of issues.

All that populist talk about the working-class son of a truck driver, a practical Midwesterner, a "Sam's Club Republican."....well, that was just talk. He was never really comfortable there - he could talk the talk, but his walk was more of a saunter over to J.P. Morgan Chase.

Yes, Pawlenty has joined the "it" crowd...

Pawlenty was hired at an annual salary of $1.8 million, a person with knowledge of the contract said when he joined the group.

Bet you don't see TPaw at Sam's Club much anymore.
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So Long Tim Pawlenty - Wish We Could Say It Was Enjoyable

Category: Tim Pawlenty
Posted: 09/20/12 13:26

by Dave Mindeman

The Tim Pawlenty sell out is complete and his Minnesota career in politics is probably over.

Former Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been named the head of the Financial Services Roundtable, one of the top bank lobbying groups in Washington, which represents the nation's top 100 financial institutions.

This private sector lobbying gig is lucrative - the previous head was making $2 million a year -but it also has to "appear" non-partisan. Thus the Pawlenty resignation from the Romney campaign. This isn't a "rats fleeing the sinking ship" scenario....Pawlenty probably has had this in the works for awhile, but Pawlenty's recent anti-Midas touch in politics continues.

Pawlenty also indicated that he will not be a candidate for any office in 2014. The speculation was that he would oppose either Franken in the Senate or maybe try for another term as Governor in a contest against Dayton. But, it would seem, he has ruled all of that out.

Since 2016 has no major state wide race and Pawlenty has shown no interest in a Congressional seat, Pawlenty is done till at least 2018. And that kind of dormancy is fatal in politics.

Pawlenty, in the end, sold out for the money. He will go on to become a very wealthy man and leave in his wake, a Minnesota that struggles to regain its footing from structural deficits that Pawlenty engineered, education debt as far as the eye can see, and a horrific back slide on environmental policy.

He also leaves a state party in complete disarray. As the political head of that party, he left party leaders in charge that have destroyed the financial backbone of the party and during his tenure, an ideological split blossomed into a divided party with an ever weakening array of potential candidates.

Although a tenuous majority holds onto legislative control, leadership seems to vacillate and confidence in a repeat of that control is disipating.

How Tim Pawlenty will be viewed from a future perspective is hard to judge. In the end, I suppose, it will depend on who gets to right the book.
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Tim Pawlenty - Back To The Future

Category: Tim Pawlenty
Posted: 08/04/12 15:23, Edited: 08/04/12 15:24

by Dave Mindeman

Tim Pawlenty is back in the news again. And again it is another Vice Presidential run for the Minnesota enigma. As the issue of the Pawlenty tax return years come back for a deja vu run, I thought it would be worth a repeat blog post that I wrote about Pawlenty in 2008.

Remember.... this was written January 31, 2008.....

by Dave Mindeman

There are two current things in life that bug me immensely...one is people who leave there shopping carts cross wise in an aisle while looking for something, guaranteeing nobody can get by... and two, Governor Pawlenty's approval ratings.

All I can do with the former is keep clearing my throat until the shopper gets the hint.... and all I can do with the latter is wonder how many of those shopping cart imbeciles were called for the poll.

I often contemplate about how people define a good job for a politician. What is it, exactly, that Tim Pawlenty has done so well? Has Minnesota's economy been improving? No, it has gotten much, much worse. Have our bridges and roads gotten better? That's a big no. Has education funding been adequate? Judge that by the number of referendums.

Pawlenty exudes that clean cut, All American guy image. Just like the guy in high school who wins all the class contests for student council or class president, and then tells you any complaints you have about the school are all in your head.... don't rock the boat.

Pawlenty also manages to have a good "deflector" dish. For instance, when it comes to transportation, its always Carol Molnau on the hot seat. She makes a great punching bag... she is arrogant, defiant, and stubborn as hell. Perfect foille for the governor with the perfect hair cut.....and he can let her twist in the wind while he stands quietly in the background, nodding his head and gently pushing her to the front.

When the Health Dept screwed up the cancer reporting from the Iron Range, Pawlenty let Diane Mandernach hang herself, while he promised to get to the bottom of it.

And then there is the fate of the surrounding political players. When Pawlenty was elected in 2002, the Republicans were riding a wave.
Norm Coleman just won (stole) his Senate seat and John Kline had unseated Bill Luther giving the GOP a 4-4 split in Congress. The State House had a huge GOP majority under Speaker Sviggum and the State Senate Democrats barely held onto control, with Sen. Dick Day leading a vocal minority there. Plus the Republicans held all the Constitutional offices except Attorney General. It was GOP hog heaven!

But in each subsequent election cycle, the cast of players have been disappearing. GOP House control shifted to a large Democratic majority by 2006 -- Speaker Sviggum is gone. The Democratic majority in the Senate has burgeoned to a veto proof number -- and Dick Day is opting for immigration wars. The Minnesota Congressional delegation changed to a 5-3 DFL majority. Gutnknecht and Kennedy are long gone and Jim Ramstad is retiring. Mark Dayton retired but Amy Klobuchar simply took over the spot. And while the Democrats held the Attorney General slot, they added Secretary of State and State Auditor.

The last man standing.... Tim Pawlenty.

And then there is the masterful way T-Paw has of minimizing potential trouble. Remember back in 2003 when Pawlenty was associated with Elam Baer's telecom scandal. The press was digging into it, so Pawlenty called a news conference where one of his quotes was:

"I don't want to say I wasn't responsible," he hedged. "All I want to say are the facts. Should I have known? If the answer is yes, then I am responsible, no question about it."

What the heck does that mean? I don't think the press figured it out either. The whole affair was glossed over and Pawlenty moved on.

And then there was the campaign finance violation in his first campaign... a mere $800,000 worth. His explanation:

"Integrity is really important to me," he said. "This whole situation angers me. It frustrates me. And it gives me a lot of personal pain. But a strong leader takes responsibility. And today, I am going to take full, unequivocal responsibility for the decisions and actions that were the subject of the campaign board's decision yesterday."

Translation: Ah shucks, they caught me on that one...but I am powerful sorry about it.... (at least about the getting caught part).

The press gets taken in by that unflappable demeanor. He chooses his words carefully and then shrugs off the criticism. It's always a version of, "C'mon, let's move on, people."

You have to admire that kind of masterful manipulation of any situation. He chastises the press... the Democrats... his critics. And they always back off. He's not only encased in teflon.... it's also bulletproof.

What's going to change any of that? His friends take the political defeats without a whimper. The legislature treats his veto pen as if it were a Harry Potter wand. And the press corps is at his beckon call because he's quotable and gosh darn it, such a nice guy. Add a little national attention with the VP speculation and gushing words of admiration from the conservative press and look where you end up..... Tim Pawlenty, 59% approval and rising.

As for me, I still see a guy whose shopping cart is parked crossways.

Here we go again...
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